by Ken Nail
Confused about wiring your subs and picking the right amplifier? Crutchfield will get you on the fast track to big bass with this simple guide.
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Confused about wiring your subs and picking the right amplifier? Crutchfield will get you on the fast track to big bass with this simple guide.
This step-by-step guide will help you make sure that your amps and subs are evenly matched and work well together. We explain how to select one to go with the other.
New marine speakers in your boat will give you an immediate upgrade in sound quality, but you'll also need a marine amplifier to get the best sound over open water.
When you add an amp to your system, the sound becomes higher, wider, and more realistic like the band's in the car and you're in the front row.
This video describes some of the common features you should look for when you're shopping for an amp, like a high-pass filter or a bass boost.
Here are some major points to consider and features to look for when choosing a new amplifier, like how many channels, or how much power it needs.
A home stereo system built around an integrated amplifier is perfect for a serious music lover. Learn what to look for as you shop.
How much power and how many channels are right for you? This guide will help you choose the right amplifier for your car's sound system.
Why pay different prices for the same wattage? Because better-built amps perform better and last longer.
We describe the basics of deciding how much power an amplifier should have when you're trying to match it to your speakers or subwoofers.
Many new car receivers are equipped with USB ports. Is there a charging advantage for receivers that have USB ports rated at 1 Amp, versus those rated 500 milliamps?
Part 2 of our series on how incremental audio upgrades can improve the stereo sound in a 2004 Ford F-150 pickup.
These car audio tips can help improve sound quality in your vehicle, whether you're listening on a factory system or a multi-channel amplified setup.
Different amps with the same wattage ratings can have wildly different prices because not all watts are created equal - some are better due to the amp's build quality.
What you need to know before you start shopping for home speakers.
Whether you only need a single mic and a speaker or a full kit for your band, it pays to know how a PA system works. This article explains each piece of the system.
Crutchfield A/V designer Tony gives preparation tips for three types of outdoor sound systems.
There are a number of different ways to power a house full of speakers. Here's an overview of things you need to know.
Factory stereo systems leave a lot to be desired. The four upgrade systems we discuss in this article improve the factory sound of different vehicles in different ways.
Interested in an easy solution for wireless audio throughout your home? We'll help you decide what Sonos gear you need to make your multi-room-music dreams come true.
Read tips on how to buy the right headphones and distribution systems for your home recording studio.
Many new vehicles make it difficult to install a new stereo. This article covers some of your options for improving the sound without changing the stereo.
When you're choosing car speakers, it's important to make sure your system will give your new speakers the power they need to sound their best.
Part 1 of our series on how incremental audio upgrades can improve the stereo sound in a 2004 Ford F-150 pickup.
When it's time to upgrade your boat's audio system, it's important to look for marine-rated stereo equipment that can stand up to life on the water.
A Rockford Fosgate system gave the family minivan a major audio overhaul while still keeping the manufacturer's dual DVD players intact for the kids.
The mobile audio/video section of the Crutchfield Labs lets our writers, researchers, and advisors get hands-on experience with the latest car audio products.
Find out how to get better sound from the music on your computer using headphones in this short video.
Bill Becker, founder and CEO of BDI, talks about special features of the BDI Mirage 8222 audio/video cabinet, designed to hold and hide your audio components.
Bill Becker, founder and CEO of BDI, talks about the special features of the BDI Valera audio/video furniture line. The open design keeps your components visible, and
Bill Becker, the founder and CEO of BDI, talks about their Avion audio/video furniture line and the improvements they made with Series II. Avion is perfect for anyone
Our Amplifier FAQ answers many common questions like: How can I add an amp to my system? Where should I mount it? What wiring do I need? What size fuse and power wire?
Take a look at a typical amp wiring scheme.
Here's a step-by-step car amplifier installation guide, including troubleshooting when things don't work perfectly.
A Crutchfield editor installs a new receiver and tests the factory amp integration and bypass options to determine which offers better sound.
We travel to the Charlottesville/Albemarle Technical Education Center (CATEC)to teach students how to properly wire and install an amplifier.
Rockford Fosgate's C.L.E.A.N. gain-setting system on their Punch amps makes setup as easy as playing an audio track and adjusting a couple volume knobs.
The Reference Fit line of amps from Kenwood Excelon packs a ton of power into a small and thin chassis. There's a mono, 4-channel, and a 5-channel version available.
The Alpine PDX-V9 is the 5-channel version of their popular PDX amps. It's small, stackable with other PDX amps, and gives you serious power, with a tiny footprint.
Adding an amplifier to your car is a fun project. This article presents five important tips to help achieve a successful and problem-free installation.
One of our employees shares the excitement of having an amplifier in her car for the first time. We installed the Rockford Fosgate Punch P400-4 amplifier in her car,
You can connect speakers to an amp by wiring the amp's output wires to the harness behind the stereo, where all the speaker connections are accessible in one place.
AudioQuest DragonFly USB DACs give your sound quality a huge boost with a 32-bit DAC and a built-in headphone amplifier.
The Denon HEOS Amp and HEOS Link let you integrate your existing home audio system with a wireless Denon HEOS multi-room audio system.
When installing an amplifier on a boat, finding a grounding point might seem tricky. But the answer is deceptively simple.
Adding a 4-channel amp to your system not only raises the sound level, but also greatly increases the sound quality of your music. This is how to tune it up:
Car amplifier audio terms - like watts, volts, and efficiency - are explained.
Here's a method for setting amp gain fast and accurately using test tones.
Kenwood Excelon line of amplifiers - three models featuring a small footprint, clean design, and covered by a reassuring 2-year warranty.
Alpine's V-Power car amplifiers are smaller than ever, and they employ smart digital technology that makes them incredibly versatile.
Sony's efficient GS car amplifiers give you clean, effective power to make your car audio system sing. There are two GS models: a 4-channel, and a mono subwoofer amp.
In Part 2 of our Car Stereo Proving Ground series, we added a bass system (subwoofer and amp) and an amplifier to the speakers in our Ford F-150.
Check out our quick and easy method for properly setting the gain on your car amplifier, which prevents distortion and reduces noise.
See how easy it is to install the Alpine KTP-445 Power Pack amplifier module, which will more than double your stereo's power.
Clarion's XC1410 4-channel amp delivers 50 watts RMS per channel from a chassis that's about as long and wide as a dollar bill.
Aaron Cochron from Audioengine tells us about the P4 bookshelf speakers and N22 desktop amp, and how they can combine to make a sweet little computer audio setup.
Kicker's CompR and CompRT subwoofers, plus their KX amplifiers, give you the sound and performance you expect from Kicker when you're building a car audio system.
Discover what you need to help your headphones sound their best with your computer.
For a long time when someone mentioned "computer speakers" all I could picture were the free speakers that came with our PC. They were lightweight, spindly things
Sony's RSX-2 system lets you listen to your hi-res digital music in the car. It features Sony's hi-res receiver, plus speakers, amplifiers and a subwoofer.
What does the gain control do anyway? This article describes how to adjust your amplifier so that your subwoofer sounds just the way you want it to.
The Sony MEX-XB100BT CD receiver includes a small hideaway amp that delivers 40 watts RMS per channel, which is double the power output of similar receivers.
We cranked up the fun on an already nice boat by installing a new audio system, including a Kenwood stereo and a full amp and speaker system from Wet Sounds.
Eric C. of Streamwood, IL, boasts a well-hidden system in his 2008 Saturn Vue XE, with a Pioneer DVD receiver, Infinity speakers, MTX subs, and a pair of Pioneer amps.
Ben H. added two pairs of Sony speakers, a Kicker amplifier, and an enclosed subwoofer from Boston Acoustics to his 2003 Toyota Camry LE, plus new interior lighting.
Thee 2002-06 MINI Cooper is a great example of how much driving fun can fit into a small package. But if you care about sound, you'll want a better stereo system.
Big enough to haul kids and dogs in comfort, but small enough to slice through the suburban jungle, this versatile SUV will be even better with a new stereo system.
Need to know know which size of wire you should use when installing an amplifier? Use our handy cable gauge chart to find out.
The Porsche Cayman is designed for pure, unadulterated road-carving enjoyment. This mid-engined rocketship is fun as-is, but a new stereo will make it even better.
The Boxster is about as good as it gets when it comes to droptop sports cars. Replacing the stock stereo will make your music sound as good as the engine - almost!
The CTS proved that Cadillac was serious about reclaiming its "Standard of the World" title. Comfortable and fun to drive, it's a great home for a new audio system.
This Beetle is longer, lower and wider than any before, but it's still a very cool small car. If you want a bigger, bolder, better stereo, you're in the right place.
If you're a real audiophile, Sony's Hi-Res Audio system can bring listening-room sound quality to your daily drive.
The third-generation CR-V is an excellent choice for all sorts of drivers, but if you care about sound, you'll definitely want to install an aftermarket stereo.
The Harley-Davidson Electra Glide is made for riders who enjoy taking long trips on nice days in maximum comfort. A stereo will make the open road even more enjoyable.
The Civic has evolved from its humble sub-compact beginnings to become a leading luxury compact. Here's what to expect when you replace your car's factory stereo.
A step-by-step guide to installing an equalizer or crossover in your car sound system.
What is a crossover and do I need one? What's the difference between passive and active? How hard is it to install a crossover? These answers and more in our FAQ.
What is a capacitor? Can it help my stereo system sound better? How do you hook it up? Get the answers to these and other questions here in our Capacitors FAQ.
Here we discuss the most popular fixes for an underpowered electrical system: the big 3 upgrade, a capacitor, a high output alternator, and a second battery.
Even in a parking lot full of SUVs (i.e., most parking lots), an Escalade stands out. If you want a stereo that's just as distinctive, you've come to the right place.
Andrew W. from Charlotte, NC, loaded up his 2007 Toyota Tacoma with a Kenwood navigation receiver, some Alpine speakers, and a pair of Rockford Fosgate subs.
The Hummer H3 isn't for everyone, but if it's the truck for you, you're really going to enjoy it. With an upgraded stereo system, you'll enjoy it even more.
Eric G., a true DIY car audio enthusiast, tested several ways to improve the sound of his 2006 Pontiac Grand Prix GXP before settling on JL Audio and Pioneer components
For the best amplified sound in their cars, audiophiles turn to Focal. This brief video introduces the Focal FPS series of amplifiers.
We're passionate about car audio. Our Mobile Audio Listening Lab lets us get hands-on experience with all kinds of car audio gear, from speakers and subs to
Check out this overview of a typical installation to see the steps involved when you install an amplifier in your vehicle.
Make your music sound lively and vital with a Sound Ordnance amplifier. Watch this Crutchfield video to see what these rugged, value-packed amplifiers have to offer.
Which subwoofer will sound the loudest? Or the deepest? Which hits harder: one 12" sub or two 10" subs? How much power do I need? These answers and more in our FAQ.
Passive crossovers are very easy to install, but active crossovers require a little more work. Find out how to install, hook up, and set an active electronic crossover.
You want your new car audio equipment to sound its best. Here are a few suggestions that will help you maximize your car stereo system's potential.
The second-gen xB is longer, lower and wider, but it's still a practical people-mover with just enough of Scion's trademark Scion-ness to keep things interesting.
The FJ Cruiser combines off-road ability with retro styling that helps it stand out from ordinary SUVs. All you need now is a stereo that stands out from other FJs.
When you're driving a Miata on a curvy road, music probably isn't that important. But if you're driving a cool sports car, why not enjoy some great stereo sound?
The xB isn't for everyone, but if it's the car for you, you'll enjoy a vast amount of interior space, decent road manners, and an impressive list of standard features.
The Volkswagen Routan offers an interesting blend of American ingenuity and Teutonic engineering. It's a comfortable minivan with loads of audio upgrade potential.
With loads of space and lots of features, the T&C hauls kids and cargo in comfort. Upgrading the entertainment system will help make it "fun for the whole family."
Replacing the New Beetle's factory stereo is fairly easy, but the speakers will require a little more work. If you care about great sound, though, it's worth it.
The Fit is a cool-looking, comfortable little car that can get out of its own way on the interstate. If you want to get more out of your audio, here's how to do it.
When Nissan designed this Altima, they knew that anything with four doors and space for a child seat would sell like hotcakes. But they designed something fun anyway.